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Can you believe conference play has already started and I have not mentioned Duke basketball once??? What is going on?!? Let’s get up to speed.

For the non-basketball junkie, college basketball has different phases to the season: Preseason, non-conference play, conference play, conference tournaments, and the crown jewel–March Madness. The season begins with boondoggle preseason tournaments, the most coveted and prestigious being the Maui Invitational. Seriously, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be in Maui in late November? I rest my case.

Other tourneys include the Paradise Jam in the Caribbean, the South Padre Invitational, CBE Classic, Great Alaska Shootout, the Preseason NIT (you don’t want to be in the POST season NIT because that means you didn’t make the cut as one of the 65 teams for the Big Dance. NIT is also known as Not In Tournament, i.e., no March Madness and no money), Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden in NYC, which incidentally Duke won this year. Sweet.

Well, Duke has played well thus far; they’re 12-1 (They lost to Michigan). I have my gripes with the line-up and their sometimes mediocre play despite having 8 (EIGHT!) McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, but Coach K is still one of the best coaches in the game and knows how to maximize his talent. I like the defense creates offense philosophy and unselfish team play. There are aspects I don’t like, but we’ll focus on the positive.

Conference play started yesterday in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and this is when the W’s really count. It is with the utmost satisfaction and heartfelt glee in which I write the following:

Duke won.

Carolina lost.

The ABCs of college basketball, especially on Tobacco Road: Anyone But Carolina.

The sport’s pundits can make excuses all they want, but the fact is Boston College played a good, tough basketball game against UNC except when BC got careless in the last few minutes. They could’ve given away the game if Carolina had made some shots, but they didn’t. It goes to show that conference play is challenging, especially within the ACC. This is the one time of year that I miss living in North Carolina. It’s ACC all the time. Gotta love it.

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